The Sierra Club lauded CPS Energy today for the utility’s dramatic drop in air emissions in 2012.
Those reductions include:
- nitrogen oxide (NOx) by 23 percent
- sulfur dioxide (SO2) by 55 percent
- total suspended particulates (TSP) by 19 percent
- carbon dioxide (CO2) by 9 percent
“We congratulate CPS Energy on a job well-done,” said Al Armendariz, senior campaign representative of the Sierra Club’s national Beyond Coal Campaign.
“Phasing out the old Deely plant and making significant investments in solar power and energy efficiency is good planning, good for our economy, and good for San Antonio’s ratepayers,” he continued. “The reductions in carbon pollution at CPS Energy have set the benchmark for Texas utilities.”
Sierra Club’s kudos comes just one day before the “Keeping it Clean: Our Air, Our Health” forum to be held at Rackspace headquarters to raise awareness of air quality concerns as the Alamo City edges closer to EPA “non-attainment” with increased ground level ozone levels — a.k.a. smog.
The reductions occurred for a couple of reasons: CPS Energy began burning ultra-low sulfur coal at its two coal plants last year, which helped drive down emissions. The plants also ran fewer hours, as low natural gas prices reduced demand for coal power.
The JT Deely plant also operated for its first full year with selective catalytic reduction technology, which reduces NOx emissions.
Deely is scheduled to cease operations in 2018, 15 years ahead of schedule, further reducing the utility’s overall emissions. The power will be replaced by solar and power from CPS Energy’s recently-acquired combined-cycle natural gas plant.
CPS Energy has long been committed to emissions reductions, even as its generation fleet has nearly quadrupled since 1980 to accommodate the needs of one of the fastest growing cities in the nation.
- CPS Energy has lowered its NOx emissions by 70 percent since 1997
- Carbon dioxide emissions have decreased by roughly 700 pounds per net megawatt hour of generation since 1980
- Particulate matter has decreased 68 percent since 2006